Mooney VR46 rider Bezzecchi has shone brightly in the 2023 season, previously leading the MotoGP standings and now sitting a solitary point behind Francesco Bagnaia.

He claimed his own, and his team’s, first grand prix victory in Argentina but the rumblings have started about his future within the Ducati set-up.

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“This year, we come to the end of the contract,” he said.

“It never came in my mind because I feel so good in this team.

“The factory teams are a step ahead in MotoGP, this is normal.

“I dream to be a world champion. If I am able to win in this team, I don’t care if it’s factory or not.

“But to be in the factory [team]? That is something really nice.”

Uccio Salucci, the Mooney VR46 team boss, has previously made it clear that Bezzecchi can no longer receive a bike and a salary of a satellite rider, after this year’s success.

"I have already spoken to Gigi Dall’Igna a couple of times and I told him that I would like him to stay in VR46 with a factory bike and a direct contract with Ducati,” Salucci said.

Bezzecchi is in the final year of his contract but could yet end 2023 as a first-time MotoGP champion.

His great friend, and current incumbent of the factory Ducati seat, Francesco Bagnaia is the reigning champion and favourite to retain the title.

“I am trying to beat him, but to beat everyone,” Bezzecchi said.

“Sometimes I can beat him, sometimes not.

“My approach to races has paid off but I won’t put more pressure on. I try to do the best weekend-by-weekend and learn from the more competitive guys.”

Bezzecchi, Bagnaia, Luca Marini and Franco Morbidelli make up the four graduates of Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Academy on the current grid.

All four have impressed this season at various stages representing a great success for Rossi’s academy.

“It was a dream for Vale to see four riders from the VR46 Academy, he was very happy,” Bezzecchi said.

“He gives us advice but also leaves us to our experience.

“If he sees something go worse, he says something. Otherwise, he says nothing.”

The VR46 set-up is ready for its high-profile riders to potentially battle on the track.

“There were changes inside to manage these situations,” Bezzecchi said. “The academy made a big step. They helped us before but, now, we have more support.

“They take care of everything we need.”

Bezzecchi is at the disadvantage in the title race of facing the reigning champion.

However, it is the same obstacle that Bagnaia overcame last year against Fabio Quartararo.

“The pressure on me is normal,” Bezzecchi said. “The target of the season was to win a race, and I have made it.

“The target now is to win another one, not to think about the championship.

“Pecco has thought about the championship since the winter test because he is already the champion, so it’s a different situation.”

He said about his earliest days in MotoGP: “I was a bit scared, honestly, arriving in MotoGP as a rival of Franco, Pecco and Luca.

“I have a good friendship with them and I didn’t want to throw it in the rubbish.

“Me and Pecco have a close relationship. We try to motivate each other in every training session.

“I hope it will stay like this until the end of our careers. Our friendship is good so it would be bad if it ended because of racing.”